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Lawmakers to Target Exploitation of Elderly

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When legislators gather in Richmond in less than two weeks, they will face a familiar piece of legislation, with a few changes. Delegate Rob Bell's bill would step up the penalty for exploiting elderly or mentally incapacitated people for money. 

Similar bills have failed in the past, but this time Bell thinks he has found a way to appropriately define the crime.

"If you know they have a mental incapacity, and you use that mental incapacity to get something from them - money, stocks, something like that - we will treat that like fraud," said Delegate Rob Bell (R) 58th District. 

The State Crime Commission, which Bell chairs, spent the past year studying the issue, and supports the legislation.

The penalty for financial exploitation would be similar to larceny, carrying up to 20 years in prison for a felony conviction.

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